Even as the Psalmist describes the marriage of King David, or possibly King Solomon, he actually testifies of the coming King of the Universe, Jesus Christ, and His bride, the church! This is the first of many descriptions of Jesus as a Righteous Bridegroom and we the people as his Royal Bride.
Psalms 45:1-17 (ESV)
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty! In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds! Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him. The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people. All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king. In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.
This psalm is an illustrious prophecy of Messiah the Prince: it is all over gospel, and points at him only, as a bridegroom espousing the church to himself and as a king ruling in it and ruling for it. It is probable that our Saviour has reference to this psalm when he compares the kingdom of heaven, more than once, to a nuptial solemnity, the solemnity of a royal nuptial, Matthew 22:2; 25:1. We have no reason to think it has any reference to Solomon’s marriage with Pharaoh’s daughter; if I thought that it had reference to any other than the mystical marriage between Christ and his church, I would rather apply it to some of David’s marriages, because he was a man of war, such a one as the bridegroom here is described to be, which Solomon was not. But I take it to be purely and only meant of Jesus Christ; of him speaks the prophet this, of him and of no other man; and to him v. 6,7 it is applied in the New Testament (Hebrews 1:8), nor can it be understood of any other. The preface speaks the excellency of the song v. 1. The psalm speaks, I, of the royal bridegroom, who is Christ. 1. The transcendent excellency of his person (v. 2). 2. The glory of his victories (v. 3-5). 3. The righteousness of his government (v. 6,7). 4. The splendor of his court (v. 8,9). II. Of the royal bride, which is the church. 1. Her consent gained (v. 10,11). 2. The nuptials solemnized (v. 12-15). 3. The issue of this marriage (v. 16,17). In singing this psalm our hearts must be filled with high thoughts of Christ, with an entire submission to and satisfaction in his government, and with an earnest desire of the enlarging and perpetuating of his church in the world.
—Matthew Henry’s Commentary
When conducting a wedding, I like to instruct the groom from Ephesians 5:
Ephesians 5:25–28 MSG
Go all out in your love for your wife exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.
Have you ever considered yourself as the bride of Christ, expectantly waiting on His return? How might that effect your beliefs and actions?
Rev. Andy Bales
President/CEO of Union Rescue Mission